Monday, December 29, 2008

A most remarkably strong, positive woman.

UPDATE: After posting this article, I was contacted by several readers through the comment section and E-mail wanting to know what Susan's address was so that they might send some donations in her time of need.

I contacted her to make sure this was OK with her and she gave me permission to release her address, so here it is:

Susan Roberts
1326 Lestina Beach Road
Bridgeport, NY

..and Thank You in advance to anyone wishing to do so. I have found my readers to be some of the most generous and giving folks on the internet. May God Bless all of you.


Well folks, I wanted to print this story because I was so impressed and inspired by this woman's personal strength and positive outlook. Also, she lives a few houses up the street from Cookie, and the untimely accidental death of her husband brought us into closer contact.

My wife and myself hadn't know Susan or her late husband James other than to gesture to each other with a friendly neighborly wave and hello as we passed each other on the street walking our dog or out for an evening walk. Their daughters would sell Girl Scout cookies door to door, and Cookie ( who absolutely loves Girl Scout cookies), would not hesitate to do business with them when the annual cookie sale took place.

Following the death of her husband, all the neighbors got together and signed a sympathy card and donated to a collection to help her out in her time of need over the holidays. What isn't in the newspaper story is that the money collected and given to her the evening before the theft, was the money that was stolen by some low life, lower than whale-shit scum ball who preys on hard working folks like Susan.

Susan, in an effort to support her now fatherless children and herself, and to give her children the best Christmas possible under the circumstances, makes and sells the most excellent pie's and jams that this man has ever tasted. She sells these wares at our local "Farmers Market" in Syracuse, NY. Prior to these sad series of events, my wife and I had occasionally ordered pies and jams from Susan.

On Christmas eve, Susan delivered several pies and jams to our house that we had ordered for our Christmas dinner, and stocking stuffers for friends. It was during our conversation with her that evening that I saw just what a very strong woman Susan Roberts is, and the positive outlook she maintains regarding life and its unfair situations. I learned a valuable lesson that evening regarding how to handle adversity.

Here is part of her story as printed in the paper....

Vendor's purse stolen at Regional Market
by Dave Tobin /The Post-Standard

Saturday December 20, 2008, 3:23 PM

Syracuse, NY.-----To someone at the Regional Market early Saturday morning, Susan Roberts' purse was a score.

It contained gift certificates and cash, totaling about $400. Also her license and credit cards, checkbooks and insurance card. Her husband's death certificate was in there, too.

She'd planned to take the death certificate to the Social Security office Monday, to apply for death benefits. Instead, she'll spend Monday trying to replace identification cards.

Her husband, James Roberts, 43, of Bridgeport, died Dec. 1, in a freak accident in the Oswego County town of Granby. A driver in a truck that was towing a stump grinder crested a hill on Rt. 48, saw another truck stopped in his lane and slammed on the brakes. A second truck rear-ended the stump grinder, sending it careening down the hill and colliding with Roberts truck, killing him.

Roberts was unloading her van around 5:30 am Saturday, went to get pens from her purse when she realized her purse had been stolen right off the front seat. She had used her purse to buy gasoline on the way to the market, and remembers last seeing it next to the eggs.

The purse theft comes at a hard time. James Roberts had been driving truck for a new company he'd been with only five weeks. Before that, he'd been out of work for six months.

A friend of Roberts called the newspaper with the tip about her story.

Susan Roberts has been selling jams, baked goods and holiday gift baskets at the Syracuse Regional Market nearly 15 years. That work has enabled her to be home with her kids. Three are adults now, one of them a soldier in Iraq who came home for his father's funeral. Two children are teenagers at home. She also cares for a three-year old grandchild.

At days end, as she packed up her goods, Roberts was doing her best to stay positive.

"I can't get angry or upset, because I don't want to live my life like that," she said. "I prefer to think that maybe somebody was just desperate, in dire need."

One pie was left, a strawberry rhubarb, its red juice outlining a Christmas tree in the crust, coloring the star cut out above it.

What would she say to the person who stole her purse?

"I would tell them that despite the fact that things are really tough, everyone's got it tough," she said. "There's really no right reason to steal. If you put your faith in the good things in life, things come to you. When you choose that path, you're just not going to have good things come to you."

Anyone with information about the purse is asked to contact the Syracuse police, or call 633-2291.

May God Bless you and yours Susan Roberts.